The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will meet at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 5-6 in Tampa to discuss the tarpon fishery in Boca Grande.
The meeting, open to the public, will be at the Doubletree Hotel, 4500 W. Cypress St., Tampa.
Other agenda items include the statewide Nuisance Alligator Program; gopher tortoise, panther and falconry management; the anchoring and mooring program; marine life and saltwater fisheries; and modifications to management of Atlantic sea bass and reef fish.
The Boca Grande tarpon fishery is threatened.
FWC commissioners will hear an update on tarpon, game fish and sport fish designations and how they might affect some Florida fisheries after strategy and budget issues are determined.
FWC Chairman Kenneth Wright promised the hot-button issue of protecting the tarpon fishery around Boca Grande would receive a fair airing.
"We're going to be taking this issue up in our September meeting in Tampa," Wright said. "There's been enough attention brought to me and the FWC that I am going to be looking into it and holding a tarpon summit bringing together representatives of the tarpon guides, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust as well as Professional Tarpon Tournament Series and get as many of those parties together to get the facts on the table. "
What: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
When: 8:30 a.m. Sept. 5-6
Where: at the Doubletree Hotel, 4500 W. Cypress St., Tampa
Why: update on tarpon, game fish and sport fish designations and how they might affect some Florida fisheries, among other issues.
Contact: Any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting should notify the agency at least five calendar days before the meeting by calling (850) 488-6411. For the full agenda, go to MyFWC.com/Commission.
Wright said he backs creating a protective sportsfish category covering marlin, sailfish, bonefish and tarpon.
It's an idea the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association wants to hear more about, said Capt. Frank Davis, BGFGA director. The BGFGA has been lobbying the FWC to stop tarpon slaughter during catch-and-weigh tourneys.
"It sounds exciting to me," Davis said. "He's one of the commissioners that's fed up and actually going to do something about it."
The FWC will take up marine fisheries issues Thursday, including updates from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meetings.
The Commission also will consider creating three commercial license exemptions to help Florida veterans enter the commercial fishing industry.
Executive Director Nick Wiley, the Division of Hunting and Game Management, Division of Habitat and Species Conservation will report on imperiled species management.
Commissioners will decide Wednesday whether to revise the 2007 Gopher Tortoise Management Plan intended to guide gopher tortoise recovery through 2022.